The news about Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Schumer’s creative partnership is exciting for many reasons. It’ll be a treat to see Lawrence and Schumer write a script together and star in a comedy film that will not only allow them to play off one another, but do so as screen sisters. Perhaps even more thrilling, however, is the opportunity to see Lawrence take her first stab at screenwriting. We have already delighted in Schumer’s acumen for the craft vis-à-vis this summer’s Trainwreck, and will now be treated to a look at bona fide character Lawrence’s creative machinery.
While we may never before have pegged Lawrence as an aspiring writer, it’s hardly uncommon for popular actors to slip discretely into the business of the written word. In fact, many of our favorite contemporary movie stars have one or two scripting gigs on their résumés. Blockbuster heroes, comedy mainstays, and indie performers alike tend to tamper in the occasional draft, showcasing in the process just how much more they’re all actually contributing to their big screen ventures than we may have ever given them credit for.
As Jennifer Lawrence joins the ranks of those proven literates, we take the opportunity to celebrate the tragically uncelebrated, and occasionally quite surprising, screenwriting credits of our favorite actors.
Writing credits: Role Models and Ant-Man
In light of all the hubbub regarding the dismissal of original Ant-Man director Edgar Wright — ultimately in favor of Peyton Reed, who in fairness proved more than adequate — little notice was paid to Rudd's contributions to the superhero movie's script. (He is credited alongside a number of other writers, including Wright, Adam McKay, and Joe Cornish.)
Writing credits: Bottle
Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums
The elder Wilson is a regular feature of old friend and fellow Texan Wes Anderson's filmography both onscreen and behind, having collaborated on the scripts to the director's first three films. As Rushmore and Tenenbaums are often ranked among Anderson's best, perhaps Wilson is a more valuable asset than anyone might have expected.
Writing credits: Kill
Quentin Tarantino's returning Pulp Fiction star didn't exactly churn out pages and pages for her starring vehicle Kill Bill, but is recognized by Tarantino to be largely responsible for the birth of her character Beatrix Kiddo in the first place. Tarantino and Thurman share official credit for The Bride's inception under the handles "Q and U."
Writing credits: The
With a background in improv comedy and Daily Show segments, it's not especially surprising that Steve Carell would have a screenwriting credit or two to his name. That said, Carell is often overlooked as a co-writer of his and director Judd Apatow's mutual breakout picture The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Writing credits: Celeste and Jesse Forever and Toy
Yeah, Jones' first big studio script is still in the works, but credit where credit is due! A few years after winning favor over her independent breakout dramedy, Jones earned a gig in the highly exclusive Pixar club. We've caught wind of a few details about the developing film, and I look forward to seeing what the spirited voice of Jones can lend to Toy Story canon.
Writing credits: Ace
Ventura: Pet Detective
The Ace Ventura character was born from Carrey's preexisting comic persona, which made it all but necessary for the slapstick guru to lend a hand in the development of the pet detective's first feature. Although he's remained a dutiful comic and dramatic performer ever since, Carrey has yet to co-write another script.
Writing credits: New
York, I Love You
Portman has yet to tackle feature-length screenwriting, but she did contribute a short to the anthology project New York, I Love You. Also, whatever hand she had in this is worth all the praise in the world.
Writing credits: Forgetting Sarah Marshall, The Muppets, The Five-Year Engagement, and Sex Tape
Segel's been busy, churning out comical screenplays varying both in target demographic and general esteem. While the campaign for The Muppets positioned writer Segel as a pretty passionate mouthpiece for the franchise revival's new voice, his role as writer has not earned the same spotlight in adult-directed comedies to come since.
Writing credits: Head
Head is just about the strangest movie ever made, and distinct among all listed titles in its absence of writer Nicholson as an onscreen entity. The psychedelic film stars the Monkees as themselves, traipsing through the surreal in such a dark and convoluted manner that can only be dreamed up by a man who spent one too many nights arched over a typewriter in the Overlook Hotel.
With these prestigious names among her scriptwriting peers, and Schumer as her collaborator and mentor, Lawrence's script is sure to be one of the best movies the world has ever seen. It's already got the hype to go with it.